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Bridgepoint Backs Acquisition of SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS)

NEWPORT, UNITED KINGDOM and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 06/27/11 -- SPP Process Technology Systems (SPTS), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products ('SPP') and leading manufacturer of etch, deposition, and thermal processing equipment for the semiconductor industry announced today that Bridgepoint, a European private equity firm is backing a management acquisition of SPTS from SPP.

SPTS designs, develops and manufactures capital equipment that is used in the production of devices on semiconductor substrates. SPTS serves a number of end-markets including micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), power management, advanced packaging, high speed RF components, and light emitting diodes (LEDs) on compound semiconductor substrates. With over 500 employees in manufacturing, sales and service operations across 19 countries, SPTS serves the world's leading micro-device manufacturers through its main operations in Newport, Wales and San Jose, California. In 2010 it generated sales of $217 million and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of $58 million.

SPTS President and CEO William Johnson said, "The investment by Bridgepoint in SPTS signifies the next stage in our evolution as a market leader in the MEMS, compound semiconductor, advanced packaging and power markets. SPP's support in the company has been invaluable, and the Board is grateful for the success enabled by SPP." "We are constantly looking to develop our capabilities to meet future customer needs and with Bridgepoint as a new investment partner, their financial and commercial expertise will be a key pillar to our expansion."

"I have been closely involved in the development of SPTS following the time with STS since its acquisition made by SPP in 1995. Consequently, I am very pleased with our decision to support the management team's plans to take SPTS forward," said Susumu Kaminaga, president, SPP. "They have become important colleagues and I wish them well in their endeavours in the future. For SPP, this transaction allows us to focus on other areas of our business which offer attractive investment opportunities. However, we will continue to co-operate with SPTS, retaining a stake and working together with them through a joint venture for the Japanese market."

Bridgepoint believes SPTS represents an attractive opportunity to acquire a market leader in the wafer fabrication equipment sector. Chris Bell, a director at Bridgepoint, said, "SPTS has strong positions in every sector in which it operates, and a global customer base in end markets poised for long term growth. In addition, we have identified with management a number of initiatives to optimise its operational performance, including acquisitions in attractive niche markets and joint ventures, such as the BluGlass agreement."

Under the terms of the acquisition, its former parent SPP will continue to partner the business by taking a minority stake in the new business organisation. The company name will remain as SPTS.

Advisers involved in this transaction include: for vendor - BDO (corporate finance), Bingham (legal); for management - Osborne Clarke (legal), Ernst & Young (corporate finance); for Bridgepoint - Ernst & Young (transaction services), Travers Smith (legal), McKinsey, Prismark and OC&C (market due diligence). The transaction is subject to standard competition clearances.


SPP Process Technology Systems was established in October 2009 as the vehicle for the merger of Surface Technology Systems and acquired assets of Aviza Technology. The company was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd., and designs, manufactures, sells, and supports advanced semiconductor capital equipment and process technologies for the global semiconductor industry and related markets. These products are used in a variety of market segments, including R&D, data storage, MEMS and nanotechnology, advanced 3-D packaging, LEDs, and power integrated circuits for communications. See www.spp-pts.com.

ABOUT Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint is a European private equity firm focussing on the acquisition of companies valued up to EUR1 billion. With some EUR11 billion of capital raised to date, it typically focuses on acquiring well managed companies in attractive sectors with the potential to grow organically or through acquisition. Although a generalist investor, Bridgepoint has developed expertise in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, media, and industrial sectors. It has offices throughout Europe in Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.

Bridgepoint is currently investing a EUR4.8 billion fund, Bridgepoint Europe IV, which had its final closing in November 2008 and has made nine investments to date. Recent investments made by Bridgepoint include the acquisition of German specialty chemicals company CABB in March this year and of Foncia, the French leader in property management services, in June. See www.bridgepoint.eu.

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